Stones have been worn by both women and men since prehistoric times. Just as in the jewelry of modern times, beautiful stones, rare and colorful, are most often the dominant feature of a piece with a metallic setting for ornamentation.

The stones used in the crafting of fine jewelry are generally divided into two classes:precious stones and semi precious stones; lets learn the difference.

Price 

The most important difference between the semi precious stones and precious stones are their price. Mostly the semi precious stones like the name suggest are priced below $50/carat. The precious stones are anything above $50/carat. This is the general rule, however today, we know that some semi preicous stones (like paraiba tourmaline) can go way beyond prices that precious stones can go. You will soon learn what the main reason was of dividing the Colored gemstones into these two categories in the next step.

Taxes

The real reason behind the seperation of the gemstones into semi precious and precious is because of simplicity in taxes. Especially custom taxes, during importing. The United states created the dvidide of gemstones so they can tax differently the semi precious stone and precious gemstones. Obviously the precious stones are more valuable so could be taxxed higher, especially because the consumption is by more elite buyers.

Setting in Jewelry

The semi precious stones are simply mostly set in Silver, 925 silver or lower end brass jewelry. the reason is because they are so low priced. Mostly all precious stones are set in Gold jewelry, the reason is because they are valuable, and adding even 2 gram of gold makes the ring or piece of jewelry well above $100. So of course, they wouldnt use the $1/carat sky blue topaz in their jewelry. Having said this, these days, there are alot of cross overs because some fine gold designers have been using lower semi precious stones and marketing them really well.

Precious Stones

The most precious stones are the diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. The pearl is oftentimes classed with precious stones. Although strictly speaking while it is not a stone it holds an esteemed place in jewelry.

precious gems

Semi-Precious Stones
A large number of stones used in jewelry are known as semi-precious; the most important ones are as follow: amethyst, turquoise, aquamarine, blue topaz, moonstone, peridot, garnet, tourmaline, zircon, alexandrite. Others of less importance although much used are: chrysoprase, jad, agate, azurite, malachite, bloodstone, coral, carnelian and many others. These stones while comparatively common and inexpensive are indispensable to the worker in jewelry. The variety of colors to be had in these stones make it possible to produce unusual designs of artistic merit and to adapt them to the personality and costume of the wearer.
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We hope this article helped in explaining the difference on how to seperate semi precious stones from precious stones, as mentioned above there is no real seperation method and in today’s world it doesnt really matter, people dont call Tsavorite a semi precious stone anymore, so why are we bothered in clarifying these stones into categories. Let the birds fly!